Irish bagpipes solo, Copley 9-194, recorded in the Moore Street studio, Dublin, 1949. Doran came from a family of travelling people; his brother Johnny was a renowned piper of phenomenal talent, who was also recorded on acetate disks two years previously. These disks were played on the radio in the late 60s and copied by fans, and became a source of inspiration for many modern pipers, showing astounding technique, imagination, and inspiration.
Felix was, in contrast, merely a great piper, and this disk is one of his best. His constant vamping on the regulators is more akin to Leo Rowsome's than his brother's more varied approach. He also used much more staccato or "tight" fingering than Johnny, in steadfast contrast to the popular perception of travellers being legato or "open" players, since open piping is slightly louder, thus better suited to busking on the street.
The Pigeon on the Gate is played in the key of A, instead of the more typical E. The A setting was also recorded earlier by piper Liam Walsh. This setting in A is in O'Neill's Dance Music of Ireland, but in the later Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody O'Neill printed an E setting from piper Patsy Touhey, which is the key used on 78s by the likes of Michael Coleman. Felix also recorded the E version on a 60s Topic LP, Last of the Travelling Pipers. The Congress is a fiery reel, very common now; I believe this is the first recording of it.